Hyde ready to say "yes" to Michigan State

"If they (MSU) offer, I'll probably commit." Wow, was I hearing that correctly? I indeed was, in fact, Marcus said that if MSU offers and he commits to MSU, he would also likely cancel his remaining visits.

EAST LANSING - Marcus Hyde comes with all the elusiveness of someone playing "hide-and-seek" in a sandstorm at midnight, except in this newer version of "HYDE-and-seek", seldom is Marcus caught by anyone, making the game frustrating for his opponents. Hyde, a 6-foot, 187-pound Fostoria (OH) High football star athlete, will be visiting MSU on January 6th, and I was able to chat with his coach, his mom, and eventually Marcus himself on his future plans.

Fostoria head coach Tom Grine was very complimentary of his star player. "Kevin, I've been in coaching twenty years," Grine said "and I've had two guys who have played in the NFL, Damon Moore, (who played for Ohio State and the Chicago Bears), and Richard Newsome, (who played for Michigan State and the New Orlean Saints). Marcus Hyde is every bit as good as those guys."

That is high praise for someone a little bit under the radar in recruiting circles. "The reason for that is Marcus has been slowed the last two years by breaking his collar in both his sophomore and junior years," added Grine.

So what kind of player is he coach?

"Marcus is aggressive, smart, has good feet, and escapability. Plus, he has just a great burst and can turn on the speed, plus he just a great kid," said Grine.

Hyde, playing quarterback for Fostoria, passed for 1100 yards and 13 touchdowns in eight games, and added 915 yards rushing with 11 more scores coming on the ground.

As you might expect, Hyde is gifted physically.

"He runs the forty in 4.5, benchs 325-pounds, and has a 38-inch vertical jump," stated Grine. That vertical jump really caught my eye. He certainly has tremendous strength and explosiveness for his size.

So what position will he play in college? "He played quarterback for us", responded Grine, "But schools are looking at him as a safety-wide receiver-athlete on the next level. MSU is recruiting him as an athlete with possibly taking a snap or two as a quarterback."

That piqued my curiosity. So do you mean like taking a direct snap from center like current Spartan star Jerramy Scott? "Yes, I believe that is their thinking," said Grine.

I then asked Coach Grine about offers and visits. "Bowling Green, Ohio U., Kent, EMU, and Akron have all offered. His visits are set for MSU on January 6th, Iowa on January 13th, Wisconsin on the 20th (of January), and West Virginia on the 27th of January."

So does he have a leader? "His leader will be the first (major school) with an offer", joked Grine. "Bowling Green is pushing hard for a commitment, but Marcus wants to see what's out there first."

In talking to his devoted mom, Pam Hampton, you can tell how Marcus became a well respected kid. "Marcus is a good kid with his head on straight, he plans to major in sports management." When I told her that Coach Grine had high praise for Marcus, the feeling was mutual. "Coach Grine has helped us a lot, he's a keeper, we aren't going to let him get away," responded Hampton.

Mom is also a good guiding influence on Marcus. When she told me that Marcus was at a friends house spending the night, she said, "Call tommorrow after 12:30pm, and I'll make sure he is here."

Sure enough, just as mom promised, Marcus Hyde, as elusive off the field as on the field, was on the other end of the phone.

So Marcus, what do you like about Michigan State? "It's just a great place, they have great fans, coaching staff, and players."

When I asked Marcus what MSU liked about him, it was not surprising that Marcus mentioned personal qualities first. "They like my personality, the way I act, how I am respectful, and the way I carry myself."

So Marcus, what do they like about you as a football player. "Oh, they like that I'm willing to hit, and have good speed. They like me as a defensive back, either corner or safety, depending if I get bigger or not," added Hyde.

So if you get a little bigger, they could move you to safety? "Yes," stated Hyde. Marcus also mentioned it was possible that he could take direct snaps from center as a wide receiver if he got on that side of the ball.

Marcus is also modest about his achievements, when I asked about his speed, he said, "I have run high 4.4's (in the forty), and low 4.5's, but to be to be on the safe side, let's just say I run a 4.5."

So what best describes Marcus Hyde as a football player? "I just the love the game, I'm smart, and I play with good instincts."

So finally, I asked Marcus about getting an offer from a major school like Michigan State. "If they (MSU) offer, I'll probably commit." Wow, was I hearing that correctly? I indeed was, in fact, Marcus said that if MSU offers and he commits to MSU, he would also likely cancel his remaining visits.

My take is that Marcus is a good kid, who has had good coaching, and good family influence. You cannot excape the fact that he is also gifted physically with an outstanding vertical jump, and the 'escapability' to go along with it. He can hit as a defender and is smart as well.

Hopefully, as this version of the 'Hyde-and-Seek Show' continues, John L. Smith and staff can catch up to the elusive Hyde long enough to offer him a scholarship so he can continue his love of football...hopefully, in the green and white.

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